By Salvador Rosas ’21
Senior, Joseph Martinez, is a new male cheerleader in the winter sports season. He found himself trying out because it was “recommended” by his friends.
Martinez found it to be an unexpected surprise that he made the team: “I thought that I was not going to make the team.”
Martinez was drawn in by the team’s “dedication and hard work, as they have won five consecutive championships.” Martinez also added that there is also “something very graceful about their movements that anyone could apply to other sports.”
During the tryouts, Martinez felt out of place at first, but stated, “I am now comfortable with everyone on the team. I have gotten a lot better in my jumps and flexibility.”
On the other hand, Kaedi Young, a learning specialist and coach of cheerleading, explained why the other judges and herself chose him, “we always [wanted] a male cheerleader because it [would] take us to the coed division. To be that we [needed] two or more male cheerleaders, and it opens up into a bigger competition.” She also states that Martinez is trying his best, and is always ready even though he wasn’t in cheerleading last year.
In Young’s opinion, Martinez may have potential in this team, “I think he will make an impact on our team. He has a positive attitude, is hard working, and he tries very hard.”
Since Martinez is an official male cheerleader, things might, in Young’s opinion, be exciting, “It adds a certain flavor to the team, and other noble networks don’t have male cheerleaders,” Young explained.
Vanessa Valdez, a senior in the team, stated what makes Martinez stand out of him, “What sticks out is his height, and will help out in the co-division,” she explained.
Now that Martinez is a new male cheerleader it will be better, however, his dancing skills are where “he is having trouble”. Still, Valdez stated, “His athleticism is better and strength is what helps us more.”
Back in the fall, the cheerleaders were finding a new male cheerleader since there was a limited amount of male cheerleaders.
Over the years many males, 4-5, joined 2017-2019.
As seen in the chart(click here to see the amount of male students in Pritzker joining the cheer team).
Martinez explained, “I will make an impact by providing the team with the strength to do more stunts, and by further challenging the expectation that cheerleading is exclusively feminine.”